The Career Audit You Should Conduct As We Head Into The New Year

Story image for Career from Fast CompanyAccording to research by The Conference Board, 52.3% of Americans are unhappy at work. This is significant, considering that about three decades ago the percentage of people unhappy at work was just 39.9%. Research from Gallup also shows that a whopping 51% of the U.S. workforce are unengaged.

As 2017 is coming to an end, especially if you’re not satisfied with your current job, it might be a good idea to perform a career audit. Here are some areas to look at when conducting a career audit:


One of the sources of dissatisfaction and unhappiness that most people have with their work has to do with the role they find themselves in. The very first thing you should audit is your role in your current job, and how you feel that affected you and your career opportunities in 2017. Could anything be done about it in 2018?

Most people tend to think work roles are set in stone. That’s not the case. Instead, depending on several factors, you can easily negotiate a better role for yourself.


Another area of your work that needs an audit, which very few people consider, is your work arrangement. For example, if you have to commute to and from work, and it’s gobbling up your time, leading to you being very stressed while barely avoiding being late to work every day, it might be a good idea to review your work arrangement. If your location is far from your place of work, what is the possibility of negotiating working from home or having some days in which you are able to work from home? If you had done that in 2017, how would it have affected your work? How about giving it a shot in 2018?

Related: How Being A Product Designer Has Helped Me Redesign My Life


Let’s not get into the debate on whether or not money can make you happy. However, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that when you are underpaid (and have to work so hard while being barely able to pay the bills), it will have an effect on your perception of your job as well as your job satisfaction levels.

You should also review your compensation package. While you might feel nothing can be done about it, that’s not necessarily the case. Try to get some data first: How much are you earning compared to colleagues doing similar work? As has been addressed here on Glassdoor, this isn’t necessarily difficult to find out. How much are people doing your kind of work earning on average? Once you get these facts, it can help you decide whether or not to demand additional compensation going forward in 2018.


One of the most important areas you need to audit is your health, and how it affects your job and vice-versa. According to some estimates, stress costs the U.S. economy about $300 billion a year. The impact of both physical, mental, and emotional health challenges on work productivity and performance cannot be overstated.

If you spent most of 2017 just working without having a plan to ensure you work healthily, it is important to address that in 2018: You will only reach optimum career levels when you’re healthy in all areas.


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